Saturday, October 13, 2012

How Do You Help Stop the 710 Tunnel? By Voting "No" on Measure J

Paying for the hangman's rope
As most are aware by now, Metro is the "lead agency" in the effort to ram the 710 Tunnel down the screaming throats of this part of L.A. County. That this bureaucracy blitzkrieg is being paid for with taxpayer money, and is being done so despite the overwhelming opposition of the people unfortunate enough to live in the path of this horrifyingly destructive boondoggle, is typical of how such things are conducted here. One of the chief features of bad government being the use of tax money to work against the interests of those who provide it. And with Metro we get just that, and so much more.

But there is some good news here. That being we can deny Metro over $90 billion dollars and in the process likely stop their tunnel scheme dead in its tracks. How? By voting "NO" on Measure J.

In an excellent "LA Watchdog" article on the CityWatch news site (click here), columnist Jack Humphreville lays a few things down in a piece titled, "Do You Trust the Gang at Metro to Manage Another 90 Billion of Your Dollars? Say No to the Measure J Slush Fund."

LA WATCHDOG - “Would it be a good idea to see how Metro handles the first $40 billion of sales tax revenue before we give them an additional $90 billion?”

You bet it is. This is reason enough to vote NO on Measure J, the November ballot measure that proposes to extend the life of the “one-half cent traffic relief sales tax” for an additional thirty years to 2069.

If passed by two-thirds of the voters, this extension would provide the politically controlled Metropolitan Transit Authority (“Metro”) with an additional $90 billion, resulting in a 60 year total of $130 billion.  

While we have questioned Metro’s management capability and organizational resources to control so many complex, capital intensive highway and mass transit construction projects that will burden our grandchildren with tens and tens of billions in debt and interest payments, we have not focused on the allocation of 40% of these sales tax revenues dedicated to finance the massive operating losses of the Metro’s bus and train operations and to fund the “Local Return Improvement” program. 

The article goes on to state that sales tax money already given to Metro through Measure R remains unaccounted for under its "Local Return Improvement" program. This money being difficult to trace, and with certain key portions of it functioning as a kind of slush fund.

Me? I just want to starve the Metro beast so they can't build the 710 Tunnel. And yes, I do know there has been some debate over whether Measure J money could legally be used for 710 Tunnel purposes, and therefore not be as much of a factor here as claimed. I myself question that, and ask you to consider the source. Besides, why take the chance and find out otherwise later?

After all of the disreputable nonsense we have heard from Metro on the 710 Tunnel, do you really trust anything coming out of that quarter?

By voting "No" on Measure J you will be putting yourself in a win-win position. You will help to stop the tunnel while also giving yourself a tax break. This cannot be too difficult a choice.

Can Measure J Be Defeated?

According to an article on the LA Weekly's blog earlier this week, the matter is very (very) close. The post is called, "Measure J: Transit Tax Extension Holds Narrow Margin In Internal Poll, But Needs More Campaign Cash to Win" (click here). This is the gist of it:

A county sales tax measure to accelerate transportation projects has slightly more than the two-thirds level of support required for passage, according to internal polling from the Yes campaign.

Measure J is leading 68-22, according the poll. However, the pollster warns that after voters hear positive and negative messages about the half-cent sales tax extension, the margin narrows to 67-27 -- putting it on the cusp of defeat.

Measure J is an extension of Measure R, the half-cent sales tax measure voters narrowly approved in 2008. Measure R is set to expire in 2039. Measure J would extend the tax for an extra 30 years. That would allow the Metropolitan Transportation Authority to borrow more money now to accelerate projects already funded under Measure R.

Opponents, including Supervisors Don Knabe and Michael Antonovich, argue that the jobs figure is exaggerated. They point out that Measure J won't create any jobs that would not already be created under Measure R. A ballot argument against the measure, signed by the two supervisors, calls it "a blank check that our kids and grandkids will pay for the next 60 years."

Let's just beat the damn thing.

Has Elaine Aguilar Already Declared the "Green Committee" a Commission?

A new City Manager's Report is now available on the City of Sierra Madre website (click ye here), and there are some of the usual revelations for us blog types to revel in. One is that there are now 41 law concerns looking to get in on our RFP action. I can only imagine how intense the bidding will get once all 41 of these lawyerly organizations begin their fight to win the highly lucrative City of Sierra Madre account. Who knows, maybe they'll be paying us for the honor of serving the Foothill Village. God bless them all. Except for one, of course.

But there is also something that is a bit troublesome here. Can it be that the fix is in, and the Green Committee is already a Commission? And if so, how exactly did City Hall circumvent the usually necessary City Council vote on this matter?

Here is how the two mentions of the Green Whatever read in the upcoming City Council meeting agendas portion of this report. First this from the agenda items listed for the October 23rd meeting:

23-Oct Discussion: Green Advisory Committee to Commission (continued from 8/14 meeting)

And then there is this agenda item listed for the meeting on November 13th:

13-Nov Discussion: Green Advisory Commission Accords

Now I know that City Hall is just doing cartwheels to begin work on the high density so-called Transit Village development projects called for by the Green Committee and its Sacramento, Washington and UN overlords, but declaring it to be a "commission" before the City Council has even cast a vote on the matter?

Seems a bit jumped up and presumptuous to me.

http://sierramadretattler.blogspot.com

51 comments:

  1. there are big plans under way in pasadena, potential building areas, lots of amazing ides. who cares if they build the 710 through south pas, those people can move into the 5000 new units that are being pitched...... watch the presentation. look at the attachments. ask why an educational independent grass roots group is so hyped up on its input being heard. ask why peter dreier loves them so much that he blows so much smoke up their collective asses.......study the IiPK web page, see the politicians and their officers mingle and rub elbows with one of the sierra madre elementary bully mamas and the former superintendent of PUSD....... find the honowitz dreier holden connection. pay attention......... the foothill city governments have to link together at some point, there is a train line from riverside to santa monica that needs to be built. pay attention.......

    http://www.pasadenaweekly.com/cms/story/detail/an_educated_proposal/11538/

    http://ww2.cityofpasadena.net/councilagendas/2012%20agendas/Oct_01_12/agendarecap.asp

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  2. item #9 folks....... ask yourselves why the pasadena historic community is scrambling to turn even the mundane into historic preservation sites. it's the last stand for a once beautiful town that looks more and more like downtown disney..... the beautiful raymond theater and adjacent "skid row" where i proudly spent my youth is gone..... enjoy your slurpees and parking lots......

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    1. Co-opted and fooledOctober 13, 2012 at 7:32 AM

      I agree with you Narcissus, we indeed will be continuing the loss of the unique character of this area, and we should be more concerned with the overbuilding that will forever change it.
      The sustainabiity of our small communities will be destroyed.
      Resources such as water supply, parks, schools, etc. will become scarcer and scarcer.
      Instead of a pro-development green commission, we should be pushing for keeping our communities intact as historic neighborhoods.
      It is looking more and more looking like the Green Committee is a smokescreen as a way of pushing overdevelopment.

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    2. All you have to do is read the Green Whatever's Accords. The development angle has been woven all the way through the damn thing. Why do you think Moran and Buchanan are pushing for this thing so hard? Because they like daisies?

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  3. The entire Democratic side of the ballot from Loony Liu on down is in the pockets of the developers and real estate concerns. It is astonishing just how deep the corruption goes.

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  4. No damn useless GREEN COMMISSION. This is nothing more than a tool for the dirts who want to over build, over populate Sierra Madre! Worse than that they are a dangerous tool for big controlling centeralized government.
    This is another evil plan by Bsrt Doyle.
    Reject this!

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  5. The Green Committee's plans are not sustainable. There is no water for development here. You can't be green when there is no water.

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  6. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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    Replies
    1. How can someone be that out of sorts on a Saturday?

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    2. Steve doesn't work, Mod. Every day is the same to him.

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  7. Unfortunately - Walsh rolled out the 3 to 2 decision for the Green Philosophical Society Commission last meeting. She claimed that a Green Commission will bring in money because it will position the town for grants. Her council member report was a preview. Inappropriate, but informative.
    So when the more thoughtful and sober-minded people on the council say that the last thing we need to spend money on is another commission, the counter argument will be that this commission will make money.

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    1. Grants? From where? A Federal government that tacks on a trillion dollars in new debt every year, or a Sacramento that could go bankrupt? She's utterly clueless.

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    2. Unicorns are bringing us the money. They found pots of it at the ends of yesterday's rainbows.

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  8. City Manager Aguilar is a survivalist. She knows how the council vote is going to go.

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    Replies
    1. Yeah, but still.

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    2. Looks like the fix is in. Johnny H must be sticking with the process.

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    3. I'll bet good money on a 3 for, 2 against vote for the elevation to commission status.

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    4. From your lips to God's ears.

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    5. Harabedian may know what a lot of hot air the Green Committee is - in fact it's hard not to know that, after their last presentation - but as a young politician on the make in the LA County Democratic Party, he'd be committing political suicide if he did not vote for it.
      Moran and Walsh have already said how they are going to vote.

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  9. Yup everyday is a Saturday... must be nice

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  10. Or bring a chuckle to the moderator

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  11. Measure J will result in the citizens of the San Gabriel Valley paying hundreds of millions in increased tax simply to fund projects that will benefit the City of Los Angeles and the westside. Guaranteed funding for completion of the Gold Line to Ontario Airport was dropped from the measure and we will be forced to pay for a benefit which we won't ever receive.

    It is poorly thought out, poor written and yet another tax scam being thrust upon the taxpayers of the valley. Vote No.

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    1. You convinced me.

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    2. I just mailed in my ballot. Measure J - No.

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  12. Don't vote for J - it's porkbarrel tax on the grandkidsOctober 13, 2012 at 9:55 AM

    Here's the latest slide show from the No 710 folks, who are also part of the NO on J crowd. Make no mistake that if J passes, the monies are NOT accountable and so will be used to build up the further funding for this tunnel.

    http://www.slideshare.net/slideshow/embed_code/14678184

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    1. This is really good information. Thank you.

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  13. I'm not against the concept if a 710 tunnel but no on this prop makes sense.

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  14. Off topic, but I love the way the Sierra Madre Patch is running LA Sheriff Dept puff pieces here. These are LASD PR generated feel good stories that run on a lot of Patches, but that they show up in Sierra Madre just shows how lazy and clueless Patch has become.

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  15. I almost got run down by those pesky cyclist in town this morning. We need to make an ordinance not allowing them in our town.

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    1. I don't mind the bikes, they're really no worse than cars. What I find annoying are the bumblebee suits. Talk about tacky! Do these guys really think they look cool wearing spandex leotards and a body shirt with bogus advertising all over themselves? They're one step from the guys with the Little Caesars pizza signs on Foothill. And the pillows in the pants thing? Good Lord.

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    2. Thank you to sierra juice for serving our cycling community and for sponsoring a local club. You are the best.

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  16. Seems obvious that poster 11:38 doesn know anything about cycling. Let me educate you. The reason for the "pillow" in their pants is to avoid wear and tear on your crotch. If you have ever ridden a bike for several hours (which you more than likely havent) you get very raw down there. The leotard spandex thing is to reduce drag. To wear pants or something other would flap in the wind. Its not as much about being "cool" as betting your proformance. As far as the advertisments on the jerseys. Most of the riders are in sponsored bike clubs. Your probably just a jealous poser that sits and wathces them go by at Starbucks wishing you were 30 years younger and in better shape.

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    1. OK, "pillow butt."

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    2. What does the poster at 11:51 mean by "betting your proformance?" Is that a reference to some sort of performance enhancing substance?

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  17. I have interacted a lot with the cyclists, and as long as they obey stop signs and right of way rules, I don't care if they're here. When they get aggessive and smug (like the poster at 11:51) they're a drag and a danger.

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    1. I agree. And I am sure the merchants they visit in large numbers every weekend do as well. 11:51 seems to suffer from some sort of paranoia.

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    2. I bet all they order is water

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    3. Power Aid and Twizzlers.

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  18. We hear a lot about Metro, but they're just taking orders. They're like SCAG, just doing the dirty work they've been told to do. But who is it that is pushing Metro to make this awful tunnel happen? Who is giving the orders? We never once have heard about them. In a democracy, and where it is our money that would make this thing happen, it is our right to know.

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  19. California Department of Transportation (Sacramento), LA County MTA (Metro/Caltrans), Gateway Cities Council of Governments, Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach, I-5 Joint Powers Authority and of course SCAG had to extend the EIR period due to public reaction.

    http://www.dot.ca.gov/dist07/resources/envdocs/docs/710corridor/docs/30_Day_Extension_Letter.pdf

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    1. Gosh, you might even think the EIR meant something!
      They will write whatever they are paid to write.
      The Magic word?
      "Mitigation"

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    2. Love it, 4:54!
      You are very clever!

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    3. Point is, all of these agencies, with the exception of the Ports, are presumably acting as directed by elected officials and their appointees to act in the public interest. Which means lots of income from the Ports to the County. Always been that way.

      Unicorn glitter, anyone?

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    4. Thanks 5:04, but it's not cleverness. It's experience.

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    5. The tunnel is being driven by the cheap labor Asian countries who lend trillions of dollars to our politicians so they can keep Americans fat, happy and clueless. All so their slave labor produced products can get from the ports to the US market more efficiently.

      You didn't actually think all of that money didn't come with a little influence, did you?

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  20. How does it feel for the relatively wealthy residents of LA County to have massive transit and tunnel projects rammed through their cities so that distant corporations can make a profit? No longer just the Andean jungle or native cultures that rely on local farming and water supplies to live.

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    1. Welcome to economic imperialism, communist Chinese style.

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  21. The Green Advisory Committee will come up also in the Stregic plan meeting on the 24th. Anyone who is home in the morning for the 8:30 a.m. meeting should be there to voice their opinion at public comment. That is the only time that you will be able to speak at this meeting. Come and let your voice heard. This must be stopped. Moran, Walsh and Harabedian are determinted to push this thing through. Your voice must be heard.

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    1. I work. Can never make those strategic plan meetings.
      Besides, if three council member out of five have already cast their votes, and they have, what difference does it make what a resident says?

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  22. If recall papers are pulled for a certain city council member, how would that effect one's political future?

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